Limerick 0-27 Clare 0-18
Limerick issued an early statement of intent after easing up to the Munster Hurling Cup silverware over hosts Clare in front of an extended 8,000 attendance in Cusack Park on Sunday afternoon.
Taking their perfect competitive record to eight matches in as many months that included overcoming all five Munster rivals along with sealing back-to-back All-Ireland crowns, their physical superiority and slicker passing and movement ensured that they were always a step ahead of their Shannonside neighbours.
Clare actually started the brighter, scoring three of the first four points, all through David Reidy by the seventh minute. However, the predominant narrative of the tie would soon emerge as a six point unanswered blitz in just five minutes including braces for David Reidy and wing-back Colin Coughlan helped Limerick to a 0-8 to 0-5 advantage by the first water break.
Clare did have a glorious opportunity to arrest that trend on the resumption but following good work from Mark Rodgers, Cathal Malone just cleared the crossbar. Instead, it was the visitors who further stamped their authority on the final with nine of the last eleven points of the half, with Reidy proving the guiding light with four while there were also inspirational scores from Gearoid Hegarty and corner-back Richie English at 0-17 to 0-09.
While home half-time substitute Ryan Taylor had an immediate shot saved by goalkeeper David McCarthy, Clare were comfortably kept at arm's length by an impressive Limerick side that had only seven survivors of the 20 that lined out in last August’s All-Ireland Final.
Four additional David Reidy frees allied to an eye-catching brace from Brian O’Grady actually extended the gap to eleven in the final quarter. Clare did at least make late inroads including points for senior debutants Patrick Crotty and Robin Mounsey.
However, with the result beyond any doubt from a long way out, Limerick, despite 19 wides, were full value for the first honours of 2022.
Limerick: David McCarthy; Barry Nash, Dan Morrissey, Richie English (0-01); Colin Coughlan (0-02), Ronan Connolly, Paddy O’Loughlin; Brian O’Grady (0-02), William O’Donoghue; Cathal O’Neill (0-01), David Reidy (0-12, 0-11 frees), Gearoid Hegarty (0-01); Oisín O’Reilly (0-02), Pat Ryan (0-01), Darren O’Connell (0-03)
Subs: Adam English (0-02) for Ryan (46), Rory Duff for O’Donoghue (54), Conor Boylan for Hegarty (54)
Clare: Eibhear Quilligan; Mike Gough, Conor Cleary, Paul Flanagan; Diarmuid Ryan (0-02), Jason McCarthy, Aaron Fitzgerald; Jack Browne, Paddy Donnellan; Cathal Malone (0-02), David Reidy (0-09, 0-06 frees, 0-02’65), Shane Golden; Domhnall McMahon, Mark Rodgers (0-02), Gary Cooney
Subs: Ryan Taylor for Golden (HT), David McInerney for Donnellan (HT), Shane Meehan for McMahon (44), Darragh Lohan for Fitzgerald (46), Patrick Crotty (0-01) for Cooney (52), Robin Mounsey (0-02, 0-01’65) for McCarthy (53)
Referee: Conor Doyle (Tipperary)
Offaly 1-20 Dublin 2-23
A better second-half performance helped Dublin to finally see off Offaly at Birr, and make it three wins from three ahead of Saturday's Walsh Cup final with Wexford.
The Faithful were on top in the opening 35 minutes as a Brian Duignan goal helped them into a four-point lead at the break. Eoghan Cahill contributed nine points to their total of 1-13 at that stage, while Ronan Hayes' major kept the Dubs in it.
Whatever Mattie Kenny said to his players in the dressing room had the desired effect as the Metropolitans moved ahead within eight minutes of the resumption after Rian McBride found the net.
Offaly battled, and the next 10 minutes were end to end, but the visitors then upped the ante to outscore their hosts by 0-08 to 0-03 in the last quarter of an hour, with Donal Burke clocking up seven points in the second half.